The Associated Press reports:
Pope Benedict . . . also approved martyrdom Friday for 188 Japanese who were decapitated, burned at the stake or scalded to death in volcanic hot springs in the early 1700s. Among them was a Jesuit priest, Peter Kibe, a convert to Christianity whose work as a missionary was opposed by authorities.
He and the other Japanese died for refusing to renounce their faith. . . .
Being declared a martyr, which means the men died for the church, eliminates the requirement of a miracle to be beatified. However, after beatification, martyrs need to have a miracle confirmed if they are to become saints.